Sorority For Plus-Sized Women: But WHY?
At first, I thought it a joke. Considering the plethora of organizations already in existence that support people struggling with weight issues and several nationally recognized sororities that foster sisterhood and welcome members regardless of body type, skin tone, or size, the concept initially seemed like a redundant effort. Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, however, is in fact an established, non-collegiate sorority that (according to the website) encourages, empowers and uplifts the plus-sized woman. Their vision:
“As a sisterhood, we strive to strengthen grace and beauty within plus size women and promoting excellence within one another as well the plus size adolescents.”
No one can argue that all women are worthy of support, inclusion, and uplift, but why does the CZT bond center around maintaining a plus-size and a Greek organization?
Their community service aspect deserves a stadium of applause, but Greek affiliation is not a mandate to create social change/ a difference. The CZT website didn’t list a weight requirement, but indicated (photos) obesity is a considered factor for membership. Why focus on weight at all?! Weight is a very sensitive issue in America, a first-world country that provides endless options for food consumption without regulation or censorship while media advertisers prey on insecurities. Promotion of healthy eating habits, physical activities and lifestyles often take the last seat on the bus in favor of fast food, extra-large portions, and fad/quick diets which the general public thirsts for. A quick fix.
As millions struggle to manage their weight, obesity steadily climbs to epidemic numbers and First Lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity her campaign legacy, why is a “plus-sized” sorority to be celebrated? Empowering “plus-sized” living gives shallow validation to a life of obesity, but heart disease, hypertension, cardiac arrest and diabetes prove otherwise. Why not celebrate the millions that work hard to alter their lifestyle (sans surgery) to lose weight? Why not found more organizations that promote physical activity and healthy living like Black Girls Run? Why not make good health a priority/focus?
Just as women of CZT were (unfortunately) made punch lines by many on social media when their intake footage leaked, obese adolescents across the nation are faced with similar ridicule. The Georgia Anti-Childhood Obesity campaign uses dramatic (controversial) PSA’s shaming the inner-personal struggles of youth. An example:
Admittedly harsh, stereotypical, and difficult to watch, the message is clear. Obesity isn’t celebratory, but making a lifestyle change is. Encourage healthy living as opposed to a deleterious social pass to remain obese.